#Boyne bonfire pics show what the #ToryDUP deal is empowering

The SKWAWKBOX

The SKWAWKBOX has reported the evident emboldening of loyalist hardliners in Northern Ireland since the potential – and now confirmed – deal between the Tories and the DUP was first mentioned as a possibility after the General Election.

Belfast residents report a big increase in the number of taunting unionist flags, banners and posters put up in Catholic/nationalist communities since the deal was mooted, with some even being set up on private property owned by Catholics.

It’s an ugly development – and getting worse.

Every year, hard-line protestants build bonfires in preparation for the anniversary of the ‘Battle of the Boyne’ on 12 July – bonfires of a scale and structure that are mind-boggling to anyone used to a typical English ‘Guy Fawkes night’ bonfire. Here’s one from last year before its lighting and during the blaze:

bonfire1bonfire2But many are not only huge but openly racist or carrying hate-messages:

boyne bonfireThe…

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Arlene Foster denied anti-LGBT letter. Why trust there’s no hidden #DUP deal?

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The government has announced it has reached agreement with the DUP amid grave concerns not only about the deal – which Welsh First Minister Carwen Jones said is nothing more than ‘a bung’ – but also about the nature of the party it has reached agreement with.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will receive £1 billion in additional public funds and participation in government policy-making in return for its ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with the Tories.

tory dup.pngTories and the DUP reaching their deal. Inset: the funeral of the Quinn boys, murdered in a loyalist firebomb attack

After more false starts and delays than a bad day on the notorious Southern Rail that have meant the deal has been announced weeks later than originally promised, there’s little doubt that the public deal represents only a small part of the concessions the Tories will have made in order to bring the famously…

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Anti-Corbyn MP’s CLP disenfranchises members to appoint Conference delegate

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disenfranchisedIt’s a matter of record that, while talking about unity (to try to take credit for a Labour surge that has nothing to do with them) and demanding that Labour’s left-wing members (the vast majority) abandon ‘sectarianism‘, the Labour right is busily trying to organise to tighten its control of party structures and processes at this autumn’s annual Conference in Brighton, as it did by ignoring party rules and procedures during last year’s debacle in Liverpool.

The (laughably-termed) ‘moderates’ are trying to lever as many of their preferred candidates as possible into the Conference delegate count in order to vote down the democratic ‘McDonnell amendment‘ to ensure that members always have the option of a left-wing candidate in future leadership elections so that Labour remains a genuine alternative and doesn’t return to the pale imitation of the Tories that it became under Blair and worse still…

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Anderson’s fraternisation with May is a betrayal of Liverpool and Labour

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Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson let down his city and the entire Labour movement on Saturday by his friendly welcome to Theresa May when she imposed herself on the city for Armed Forces Day.

Anderson was photographed laughing and joking with a Prime Minister who gives lame ducks a bad name – while Liverpool’s residents made their feelings clear by booing the Tory ‘leader’ and shouting ‘shame on you’:

anderson may 2anderson may 1Anderson’s friendliness was a legitimisation of a PM who has no legitimacy, is ready to be toppled – and is far from certain to survive the next week, with crucial votes on her ridiculously sparse Queen’s Speech due on Wednesday and Thursday.

He would have been far better advised to have bounced her straight out of the hugely pro-Corbyn city – or at the very least to have distanced himself from her and ignored her attempts to ingratiate herself for the cameras…

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Video: As Corbyn conquers #Glastonbury2017, May booed in #Liverpool

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The contrast in fortunes and stature of the leaders of the Labour and Tory parties could not be more pronounced.

Jeremy Corbyn has appeared to huge crowds, huge cheers and the now-famous ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ chant – which has been sung with huge enthusiasm at the music festival even when he’s not present – and has spoken with complete confidence and passion to a crowd of over 100,000 people, many of whom had left gigs by world-famous bands to come and hear him:

ddgrortxoaeecfyImage by @rachael_swindon

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke had joined in the chant the previous evening when it sprang up in the band’s huge audience, while Grime star Stormzy led it on Saturday evening:

Even neutral media commentators couldn’t help but be impressed:

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May refuses to confirm she’ll fit #sprinklers to tower blocks #Grenfell

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Chris Williamson, newly-returned MP for Derby North, asked Theresa May a straight question in the House of Commons today. That he didn’t receive a straight answer will surprise no one who’s paid any attention to May’s vacuity.

But this question was about tower blocks. And fires in tower blocks. And sprinklers. And firefighters. Nine days after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Here’s the video of the question – and the ‘answer’ – so you can watch as May dances around it and tries to avoid committing to anything while trying to sound like she actually meant what she had said earlier about being ready to make sure there’s never another ‘Grenfell Tower’:

May spent the Grenfell Tower debate trying to shift blame onto anyone else – in fact, her eagerness to avoid taking responsibility for anything was probably the nearest she has come to transparency in her political career.

But the…

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#Camden council evacuates 160 families from #Chalcots cladding block #Grenfell

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The SKWAWKBOX reported yesterday that Camden council had specified high-end, fire-resistant cladding on the Chalcots Estate residential block but testing had revealed that the materials used were the same combination of flammable cladding panels and flammable insulation that were used on the ill-fated Grenfell Tower.

They were installed by the same contractor/sub-contractor combination.

chalcots.pngTonight, the council has announced that it is evacuating some 160 families from the block as a precaution, because of the evident fire risk.

The SKWAWKBOX applauds the council for its prompt and decisive action to protect its tenants and trusts that the Metropolitan Police, which is already considering manslaughter charges in relation to Grenfell, will be paying extremely close attention to events that have led Camden to this pass.

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